On 3rd and 4th October 2018, the School of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) in UK organized their first Public Health Conference which took place at the Nottingham Conference Centre. The theme of the conference was ‘Reverse Knowledge Innovation in Global Health and Development’. The conference was attended by a team from Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) led by the Dean, Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze. Other MakSPH members in attendance were: Dr. David Musoke, lead of the MakSPH – NTU partnership; Mrs. Ruth Mubeezi Nebye, Patron of Makerere University Environmental Health Students’ Association (MUEHSA), and Mr. Rawlance Ndejjo, a Research Associate with MakSPH. Also in attendance was Ms. Carol Namata, a recent graduate of the Bachelors of Environmental Health Sciences programme at MakSPH and currently pursuing a Masters of Arts (MA) in Public Health at NTU.

 

The conference commenced with welcoming remarks from the Pro Vice Chancellor International and Head of the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences at NTU, Prof. Cillian Ryan. He welcomed participants to the event which was also commemorating 10 years of existence of the MA Public Health programme at NTU. The Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Kathie Moore, expressed gratitude and joy in seeing participants from different countries including Uganda. She mentioned that graduate students from the School of Social Sciences at NTU are always prepared to make a difference whenever they engage in public health issues, and later become agents of change within various communities. After the opening remarks, the stage was set for the presentations from various conference participants.

 

Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze was a keynote speaker at the conference and made a presentation titled ‘Partnerships for knowledge transfer and innovation in health: perspectives from sub-Saharan Africa.’ She noted that MakSPH has several collaborations but the partnership with NTU is unique and has been sustained even during times without funding. Prof. Wanyenze said ‘ingredients’ such as trust, mutual respect, sharing benefits and failures, capacity building, among others help to make partnerships successful. In her conclusion, she emphasized that partnerships for knowledge transfer and innovation were important to solve global health challenges.

 

As part of the conference, the NTU - MakSPH partnership organized a workshop to discuss the experiences and lessons learnt from the working relationship of the two universities for the past 10 years. Panelists on this workshop were Prof. Linda Gibson who is the partnership lead from NTU and Conference Chair. She presented a history of the partnership and its achievements including staff and student exchange, collaborative research projects, staff development, and joint events such as seminars, workshops and conferences. Others who presented during at workshop were Dr. Musoke, Mrs. Mubeezi, Mr. Ndejjo, and Ms. Namata from MakSPH. Mrs, Deborah Ikhile who is a PhD student at NTU and co-supervised by faculty at MakSPH, also made a presentation. In addition to the workshop, MakSPH staff made other oral and poster presentations. Mr. Ndejjo received the best poster award for his paper titled ‘Co-learning among communities, researchers, and policy makers through photovoice: Experiences from implementing a participatory research on maternal health in rural Uganda’. MakSPH is spearheading the organization of the 3rd International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH) Academic that will run alongside the 16th Makerere University Environmental Health Students’ Association (MUEHSA) Scientific Conference to be held in Kampala from 9th to 11th April 2019. This conference will be attended by a delegation from NTU including staff and students.

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